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Full text of "Thomas Levet of Exeter and Hampton"

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Q^ C5E:NirAL.0 3Y COUL-LICTION *^*- 

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1537527 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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THOMAS LEYET 

ay 
OF EXETER AND HAMPTON 



Reprinted from the 
New England Histoeical and Genealogical Registee ; 

WITH 

Notes on the English and American Families of 

LEVETT AND LEAVITT 



Go 



By 

VICTOR C. SANBORN 

Kenilworth, Illlnois 



JANUARY 

1913 



These notes concern an early New England settler, hitherto untraced. Thomas 
Levet was perhaps born at Melton, near Doncaster in Yorkshire. This neigh- 
borhood is distinguished by its nearness to Austerfleld and Scrooby, the first 
English gathering places of the Mayflower Pilgrims. His early life may have 
been spent with an uncle, Ralph Levett of Graiusby in Lincolnshire, near Wil- 
loughby, the birthplace of the romantic Captain John Smith, that Paladin of 
early New England explorers. Unquestionably Thomas Leyet came under the 
iiifluence of John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson, and perhaps of Sir Harry 
Vane and John Cotton, four types of a Puritanism broader than that of Win- 
throp's colony. 

Thus the life of Thomas Levet, in itself unimportant, was interwoA-en with 
the world-movements of the seventeenth century. It is to be hoped that some 
future historian will write in detail the lives of all the members of "Wheel- 
wright's brave Combination, and will clear up many passages at present doubt- 
ful. 

V. C. S. 



1537527 



THE MELTON REGISTERS 



The unfailing kindness of Canon Foster has furnished the following 
complete record of Levet entries in the Parish Register of Melton-on-the- 
Hill from 1538 to 1700. This record does not alter the conclusions ar- 
rived at in my pamphlet, but amplifies and corrects the Levett jjedigree in 
some respects. V. C. S. 

1539. Elizabeth Levet (daughter of "William Levet) was baptized ye sxixth 
day of Julie. 

1540. Nicholas Levet (sonne of Wm Levet) married Anne Westbee (daughter 
of Rafe Westbee of Ranfleld) the thirde day of Octob. 

1556. Richarde Colbraude of ye parishe of Wathe marled Jane Levett ye seven 
& twentieth day of Jauuarie. 

1557. Margaret Levett (daughter of William Levett) was buried ye seconde day 
of December. 

1570. (12 Elizabeth) Rafe Levet (sonne of Nicholas Levet) maried at Barm- 
brughe Elizabeth West (daughter of George West Esquier) the foure & twen- 
tieth day of October. 

1571. (13 Elizabeth) Francis Levet (Sonne of Rafe Levet) was baptized & 
buried ye fyve & twentieth day of August. 

1572. Francis Hallom maried Anne Levet ye nyue & twentieth day of Julie. 
1572. (14 Elizabeth) Thomas Levet (soune of Rafe Levet) was baptized ye 

last day of August. 
1574. (16 Elizabeth) William Levet (sonne of Rafe Levet) was baptized ye 
foure & twentieth day of October. 

1576. (18 Elizabeth) Robert Levet (sonne of Rafe Levet) was baptized ye 
seventh day of October. 

1577. (19 Elizabeth) Wm Levet father of Nich: Levet was buried at Sprod- 
burgh the xxixth of Jauuarie. 

1579. " (21 Elizabeth) Catherine Levet (daughter of Rafe Levet) was baptized 

ye two & twentieth day of Marche. 
]5'si. (23 Elizabeth) Gertrude Levet (daughter of Rafe Levet) was baptized 

ye foure & twentieth day of Januarie. 

1582. (24 Elizabeth) Rafe Levet (son & heire of Nicholas Levet) was bui'ied 
ye fourthe day of Januarie. 

1583. (25 Elizabeth) John Morley married Elizabeth Levet Widowe (late wife 
of Rafe Levet) ye second day of Aprill. 

1585. (27 Elizabeth) Gertrude Levet (daughter of Rafe Levet) was biu-ied ye 

twelfthe day of Aprill. 
1587. (29 Elizabeth) Thomas Levet (soune & heire of Rafe Levet) maried at 

Laughtou iu le Morthiuge Elizabeth Myrfyn (daughter of Robert Myrfyu) ye 

seconde day of Julie. 
1590. (32 Elizabeth) Elizabeth Morley (wife of John Morley) was buried ye 

seconde day of August. 
1595. (36 Elizabeth) Thomas Levet (son of Thomas Levet) was borne the 

three & twentieth day of Julie &, baptized ye eight & twentieth of ye same 

monethe. 
1597. (39 Elizabeth) Marie Levet (daughter of Thomas Levet) was borue the 

fourthe day of Januarie & baptized ye sixth day of same mouethe. 

1597. Tho : Levet signs as churchwarden. 

1598. (40 Elizabeth) Nicholas Levet sonue & heir of Wm Levet was buried at 
Rotherham ye eight of May. (This entry has been inserted after the other 
entries were written) 

1600. Rafe Levett (soune of Thomas Levett) was baptized ye tliirde day of 
June. 



1602. Marie Levet (daughter of Thomas Levet) was buried ye two & twentieth 
day of Scptemb'. 

l(30i! Johu Levet souue of Thomas Levet geut was baptized ye xxvth daie of 
Marclie. 

1607. Jane Levitt daughter Tho. Levit geut was baptezed ye ixth daie of Au- 
gust. 

1610. Peter Levet Souue of Thomas Levet geut. was baptized ye second daie 
of Julie. 

1622/3. Thomas Levett geutma elder was buryed the 17 day of Februarye 17. 

1627. Audrewe Goodhaud and Joue Levitt was maryed the 13 day of Jauuary. 

1(532. Jane the wif of AudreAV Goodhaud geutlma was buryed the 31 day of 
December. (Tliere are other Goodhaud entries) 

163!K Thomas the souue of Mr. Doctor Levett was baptized the eighteenth day 
of July & })orne ye 2d day of ye same July. 

16i0. Johu Levett Doct of Lawes married Mary Mote daughter of Emanuell 
Mote gent' the 26th of ffebruary 1 635 and was married at Plumtree in Notting- 
hamshire. 

Anne Levett daughter of Docte Jolm Levett borne at Yorlie the 28th of 
September 1637 & baptized the 1th of October followinge 

Mary Levet daughter of Doctor Johu Levet baptized the ffourteeuth of 
Janrye. 

1742. *Jolm ye sonue of John Levit bapt : the 28th of July 
Mris. Elizabeth Levitt buried ye 11th of November. 

1643. Elizabeth ye daugliter of Dr. John Levitt baptized July 19th. 

1644. William Leavet son of Johu Leavet Baptized October ye 6. 

1645. Alice the daughter of Johu Leavet Baptized Septemer the 26. 

1646. Dorytlay the dougliter of John Levitt Baptized August ye 26. 
1649. Sarah daughter of Dr. Johu Levit baptized June 9th 



THOMAS LEYET OF EXETER AND HAMPTON 



A SURPRISING fact about the early settlers of New England is that so 
few records were kept of their English homes and ancestry. Where no 
identifying record has survived three centuries of time, a connection can 
often be traced through neighbors and friends in the first twenty years of 
sojourn here. But sometimes an early immigrant cannot thus be linked 
with a group. Then, unless the family name be uncommon, the search 
for English ancestry is blind indeed. 

The name of Levet is not uncommon, and there is some doubt whether 
a connection exists between Thomas Levet of Exeter and Hampton and 
any group of early New England settlers. Thomas Levet was born in 
1616, as appears from his death record and from a deposition of his, made 
in 1G76 in the case of Drake v. Colcord (Mass. Ct, Assts., File No. 1566). 
He was thus born in the same year as William Wentworth, Christopher 
Lawson, and Edward Rishworth. He is first found among the signers of 
John Wheelwright's Exeter Combination of 1639, where his name ap- 
pears between those of James Wall and Edmund Littlefield. For we must 
regretfully abandon belief in the Wheelwright Deed of 1629, where the 
name of " Thomas Levitt " appears as a grantee, with Wheelwright, Au- 
gustin Storre his brother-in-law, Thomas Wight, and William Wentworth. 
This fraudulent deed was brought forward in 1707 to support the anti- 
Masonian claims, but its only genealogical use is to connect the grantees, 
between whom a relationship was doubtless at that early date known to 
exist. 

In tracing the English ancestry of our Thomas Levet, three clues pre- 
sent themselves: (1) The tradition connecting him with Wheelwright, the 
Hutchinsons, and Wentworth. (Wentworth Genealogy, vol. 1, p. 76.) 
(2) What is known of other early Levets in New England. (3) The affi- 
davit of Abraham and Nathaniel Drake in 1691, that Colchester, co. Es- 
sex, was the English home of Levet's wife and, perhaps, of Levet himself. 
(Register, vol. 21, p. 316.) 

The Wheelwi'ight-Hutchinson tradition points to Lincolnshire, since that 
county furnished the entire Wheelwright connection. Lincolnshire is sin- 
gularly lacking in Levets, though a few references to the name are foimd. 
The will of John Hutchinson in 1644 mentions his "sister Levitt," and 
Ralph Levet was a witness (Register, vol. 20, pp. 362-363). This led 
Col. Chester and Hon. John Wentworth to believe that our Thomas was 
a son of this Ralph Levet. But Canon Maddison found in the Bilsby tran- 
script the marriage of " Ralfe Levit and Anne Hutchinson " on 25 Jan. 
1631/2. Doujjtless this Ralph Levet was rector of Grainsby, Lincoln- 
shire, in 1635, and belonged to the Melton line, as we shall see. He was 
the father of Francis Levet, rector of Little Carlton, mentioned in the' 
next paragraph. But he could hardly have been the father of our Thomas 
Levet, who was born in 1616. 

In Suffolk Deeds, book 10, fo. 215, is a deed fi'om John Wheelwright, 
22 Oct. 1677, conveying to Richard Crispe all his messuage in Maw- 
thorp, parish of Willoughby, Lines, and lands in Burnethorpe and Hog- 



strope, which were in the tenure of John Banister, and were purchased of 
Francis Levet, gent., of North Willingham, Lines. This seemed a distinct 
clue, but the registers of North Willingham contain no Levet entries. 
Francis Levet, undoubtedly the son of Ralph of Grainsby, was rector of 
Little Carlton, Lines, from 1662 to 1711. This was a Hutchinson and 
Thorndike parish. (Register, vol. 51, pp. 120 et seq.) The transcripts 
of Great and Little Carlton have been searched, and from 1662 to 1710 
those for Little Carlton are signed " Fran : Levet, rector." They show 
that "Francis Levett, Gierke, and Elizabeth Harris " were married 10 
Dec. 1662. Their children were : 

i. Elizabeth, bapt. at Great Carlton 15 Dec. 1663. 

ii. Anne, bapt. at Little Carlton 11 Aug. 1667. 

iii. Ralph, bapt. at Little Carlton 18 Feb. 1669; bur. 10 May 1674. 

iv. Mary, bapt. at Little Carlton 9 Mar. 1670/1 ; m. at Great Carlton 22 
Feb. 1693/4 Richard Ogle. 

V. Thomas, bapt. at Little Carlton 1 May 1673; bur. 5 May 1673. 

vi. Richard, bapt. at Little Carlton 14 Feb. 1673/4 ; bur. 16 Feb. 1673/4 

On 18 Feb. 1673/4 Elizabeth, wife of Francis Levet, was buried; and 
3 July 1711 "Mr. Francis Levett, Reef," was buried. The will of Fran- 
cis Levet is filed at Lincoln (vol. for 1711, fo. 60), and in it he leaves be- 
quests to his three sons-in-law, Mchael Johnson, William Eldinor, and 
John Harrison, and to his Johnson and Eldinor grandchildren. The will is 
sealed with the arms of the Melton Levetts. 

A few scattered notes exist of other Lincolnshire Levels. The will of 
Robert Levitt of Lincoln in 1565 gives nothing of value, unless the be- 
quest to Isabella Symkinson connects this Levitt with the Doncaster Simp- 
kiusons. James Levit was ordained deacon by Thomas Cooper, Bishop of 
Lincoln, in 1583. At Foston and Allington in southern Lincolnshire was 
a family of Lovetts, which can be traced for a generation or two, but this 
gives no apparent clue. 

William Wentworth of Exeter came from Lincolnshire, but was de- 
scended from the Yorkshire line. Near their ancestral home lived a York- 
shire family of Levetts, belonging to the lesser landed gentry, seated at 
Normanton for some generations, and acquiring in the fifteenth century a 
fair estate, though not the manor, at High Melton. These Normanton 
and INIelton Levetts intermarried with the Wentworths. Their pedigree* 
appeared in the Visitation of Yorkshire of 1612, and is printed in Hunter's 
Deanery of Doncaster. It has been amplified by a descendant, Mr. INIilner- 
Gibson-Cullum, in 3 Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, vol. l,t and is in 
part as follows : 

* It would seem possible to construct a pedigree of the Normanton and Melton Le- 
vetts extending two centuries farther back than the pedigree printed lierein. Thus 
we find in 1249 a Hamond de Lyvet. In 1272-1307 lived a Nicliolas de Lyvet, who 
held from Joliu de Vesci the manor of Hooton, later Hooton-Levet, as well'as fees in 
Wickerslej' and Pickburn ; he is mentioned in Kirkby's Quest. In 1327 we find a 
William Levet of Hooton-Levet, who married Constantia, daughter of Roger de Wick- 
ersley and granddaughter of Richard fitz Turgis, who with John de Busli founded the 
Cistercian Abbey of Roche. In 1377 John Levet, son and heir of William Levet, sold 
to Richard Barry of London all his ancestral rights in Roche Abbey. In 1392 lived 
William Levet of Tylse, who was a feoffee of Thomas de Barley. In 1420 William Le- 
vet and Elizabeth his wife lived in Hooton-Levet. These Levets sold Hooton-Levet 
to the Cliffords, and perhaps removed to Normanton, where we find a William Levet 
who was admitted in 1447 to be a tenant of the prior of St. John of Jerusalem. He it 
is who heads the pedigree of the Normanton and Melton Levetts. 

+ Many records also of this family, including (in a somewhat different form) soma, 
but not all, of the abstracts given below on pp. 8-9, have beeu communicated to the 
same volume by Mr. I^Iilner-Gibeon-Cullum. 



LEVETT OF NORMANTON AND MELTON, YORKSHIRE 
Arms. — Sable, a fess battled on both sides between three leopards' heads erased argent, 
William Levett of Normanton, 1477 = 



I 

"William Levett 

of Normanton, 1480, and 

of Melton, jwe uxoris, 1488 



= Elizabeth, dau. aud Robert 
coheir of Robert 
Syward of Melton 



Elizabeth, m. 

Thomas Gargrave, 

father of Sir 

Thomas 



William Levett 



Anne, dau. of 



of Normanton aud Melton j John Baruby 



\ 

William Levett 

of Normanton aud Melton, b. abt. 1500 ; 

d, 1576 ; bur. at Sprotborough 



Elizabeth, dau. aud coheir 

of William Wentworth 

of Sprotborough 



Nicholas Levett = Anne, dau. of 

of Normanton aud Melton, b. abt. 1520; I Ralph Westby 

d. 1598 ; bur. at Rotherham of Raveufleld 



I 

Ralph Levett 

of Normanton aud Meltou, 

b. abt. 1545; d. 1581; 

biu". at Meltou 



Elizabeth, dau. of 

George West of 

Baruborough aud 

Aughton 



Anne, 

m. Francis 
Hallom 



Jane 



Thomas Levett : 

of Melton, 

bapt. 1672 ; d. 

1623 ; bur. at 

Meltou 



Elizabeth, dau. 
of Robert 
Mirhu of 
Thurcroft 



I 

William, bapt. 1574; 

m. Elizabeth (Vickars 

or Wray) Sheppard ; 

d. s.p. 1638; 

lived at Bentley 



Robert, bapt. 1576; = Frances, dau. of Catherine, bapt. 1578; 
d. 1655 ; bur. at I John Nalson m. Wm. Strelley 
Normanton of Snydale 



a quo the Levetts 

and Hansons of 

Normanton 



Gertrude, b. 1580 ; 
d. 1585 



Thomas Levett 

of Tixover, Rutland, 

bapt. 1594 



Margaret,* 

dau. of Johu 

Liudley of 

Leathley 



Ralph, = Anne, dau. of 
bapt. 1600, 
Rector of 
Grainsby 



Edward Hutchinson 
of Alford 



Francis Levet, 
Rector of Little Carltou 



John, = Mary, dau. and 


Peter, 


1 
Jane, b. 1607; m. 


LL.D. coheir of 


b. abt. 1611; 


Andrew Goodhand 


Emmanuel 


d. 1672; 


of Lincolnshire ; 


r '\ Mote of 


Vicar of 


d. 1627 


Melton 


Cautley 





Thomas Levet of 
Exeter and Hampton 

*This match is given by Brooke and Hunter; but I think that the husband of Mar- 
garet Lindley was really Thomas Levett of Sussex, who died at East Betchworth, Sur- 
rey, in 1616, leaving a will (P. C. C, Cope, 118) and a widow Margaret, sole executrix. 



8 

The last Levetts living at Melton were the children of the Thomas Lev- 
ett who died in 1623. An abstract of his will follows, together with the 
answer of his son John to a Chancery bill, showing what became of the 
Melton lands. 

The Will of Thomas Levett of High Melton, gent., 7 October 1622. I give 
to my wife Elizabeth £40, over and above her portion of my goods. To Thomas 
Levett my sou and heir apparent all glass and seeling in or about my house at 
Melton. To Ralph Levitt my second son £20, to be paid within one month after 
be shall commence Maister of Arts in oue of the Universities of Cambridge or 
Oxford. And whereas I have a spetiall desire to have my two younger sous, 
John Levett and Peter Levett, to be educated and brought up at their books, 
Avhereby they be furnished with knowledge aud learniug to become profitable 
members in God's Church or the commonwealth of this land ; I do hereby pray 
and desire my said wife, my eldest son Thomas, and my second sou Ralfe to be 
aiding aud assistuig to the said John aud Peter therein. And therefore, rather 
to allure them to their books aud to assist them in their studie, I do bequeath 
to the said John Levett £20, to be paid to him w^'^in one month after he shall 
take the degree of Maister of Arts in Cambridge or Oxford. [Same bequest to 
Peter Levett.] To my daughter Jaiue Levett £40, over aud besides her portion. 
The bequests to my three younger sons to be raised out of lands in Cadeby pur- 
cliased of Richard Waterhouse. If this devise be insufficient iu law, then I do 
require my eldest sou to consider how chargeable his owu education hath been 
to me aud how much to the hindrance of his younger bretlu-eu's preferment, aud 
thei'efore I do pray him to give way to this devise. My wife to be executrix. 
My brethren Robert Mirfln of Thurcroft and William Levett of Bentley to be 
supravisoi's. To my good frieud Henry Saxton,* clerke, 10s., in thankful re- 
membrance of God's blessing by him as a secondary cause iu the indoctrinating 
of my children. Proved 1 May 1G23. (York Wills, vol. 37, fo. 234.) 

WhitaivEK v. PiTZWiLLiAMS, Levett et al.^ bill dated 26 October 1653 : Thomas 
Whitaker, exr. will of John Whitaker, late of Meltou-on-the-Hill, complams 
that John Levett, Dr. of Lawes, beiug seized of a capital messuage there, did 
on May 10, 1638, lease the same to the said John Whitaker for 21 years at £61 
pr. ann. The said John Whitakers did continue tenant aud much improved sd. 
farme and continued to pay his reut uutil he understood that the said Dr. Levett 
had conveyed the reversion thereof to Richard Berry, Dr. iu Phisicke, siuce 
deed., after w'^'' time he did with the consent of Dr. Levett pay the rent to Dr. 
Berry. Sd. John Whitakers made his will and appointed your orator aud John 
Whitacers his son exrs. and demised to your orator sd. farme aud your orator 
pd. rent to Dr. Berry. Dr. Berry, dyiug about June, 1651, demised sd. fanue 
to John Fountaiue, Esq'= f and shice then your orator has pd. reut to sd. Fouu- 
taiue, saving that sometimes by consent of Dr. Levett, Dr. Berry, aud Fountaiue 
your orator aud his father pd. to Thomas Fitzwilliams of Doucaster £16 pr. 
anu., the interest on £200, lent on some small pt. of the farme by sd. Fitzwil- 
liams. Aud after the death of his sd. father, your orator beiug an illiterate 
person brought up oidy to husbandry, the sd. J'itzwilliams, being an attorney 
aud often Under Sheritt' for the County of York, repau-ed to your orator aud re- 
quired him to scale some writings, wiiich he said were ouly to secure the pay- 
ment of sd. interest; but now he preteudeth they are ))ouds wh. he threatens to 
put in suit. The sd. Fitzwilliams did combine with the said Dr. Levett (who 
married Mary, oue of the daughters and coheires of Emmanuel Mote deed.) 
and with Anne and Dorothy Mote, two other daughters of sd. Emuiauucl ]\Iote, 
so tliat Feb. 13, 1651, a bill was drawn by which the said Anne aud Dorothy 
Mote claimed tluit tlie sd. Emmanuel Mote was seized iu fee of the manor of 
Melton aud of this farme; aud upon the marriage of the sd. Mary to Dr. Levett, 
and his agrecmeut to pay £500 to sd. Anne aud Dorothy, the premises were set- 
tled on tlie sd. Dr. Levett; but tlie sd Anue aud Dorothy lately discovered that 
on July 30, 1635, their fatiier conveyed the premises to sd. Fitzwilliams for £200. 
Prays writ of subpoena connnandiug defts. to appear aud set forth the truth, etc. 

* Heury Saxtou was vicar of Conibbruuyli from 1615 to 1G65 aud is buried iu Coiiis- 
broiigh churcli. 

fjolin Fouiitayne of Melton married Elizabeth, daughter of Major John Moukton 
aud a grand-niece of Dr. Richard Berry. 



9 

Answer of John Levet, Dr. of Lawes, one of the defendants, 9 February 
1653/4 : Defendant did at the time mentioned in the Bill believe that he was 
seized of the capital messuage and lands expressed in the Bill as in fee ; for he 
did not know that Mr. Emmanuel Mote had mtgd. any part of them to the de- 
fendant Mr. Thomas Fitzwilliaras ; and deft, believeth that John Whittakers, 
compts.' father, was privy to the mortgage. The deft, leased said lands, etc., 
to the said John Whittakers, who continued as such tenant until such time as 
Doctor Berrie got his interest in it. The deft, upon trust and agreement with 
the said Dr. Berrie (then a great professor of his love to the Levets for Mr. 
Thomas Levet's sake, to whom he did acknowledge himself behoulden for the 
greater part of his fortunes) did make a conveyance of his manors and lands in 
Melton (a part being the said messuage and lands) with other lands in Cadeby, 
Wildethorpe, and Bentley, unto the said Dr. Bei'rie for the securing of w^hat 
money he had lent the deft, or his brother Thomas Levet, which loans were 
about £3300. And for the purchase of the said lands (in Melton only) deft, 
had £10,000 profl'ered him by Arthur Ingram the elder, as also by Sir John Mel- 
ton, and indeed had sold them to the latter, but afterwards because he could 
not get his moneys in the sd. Sir John desisted from perfecting the purchase. 
After, the said Dr. Berry (contrary to the trust reposed in him) enrolled the 
conveyance and endeavored to eject deft., etc., and John Fountayne has ejected 
the Deft. (Chancery Proceedings, 16-49-1714, Bundle 17, Bridges.) 

Thomas Levett, the eldest son and heir of Melton, matriculated at Lin- 
coln College, Oxford, in 1610, and j^roceeded B.A. 1612/13. In 1621 he 
was entered as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn, and he was still of Lincoln's 
Inn in 1626. According to Foster's Alumni Oxonienses he w^as B.C.L. 
of Orleans University, 1626. 

The Calendars of State Papers (Domestic), James I, vol. 11, p. 438, 
contain an interesting letter from JMatthew Dodsworth to Dr. More, dated 
3 Jan. 1624/5. Matthew Dodsworth was chancellor to the Puritan Arch- 
bishop Toby Mathew of York, and was father of Roger Dodsworth the 
antiquary. Perhaps Dr. More was Robert More, Puritan vicar of Guislev, 
whose daughter married Capt. Christopher Levett. The letter states that 
Dodsworth is willing to accede to Dr. More's wish " that Thomas Levett, 
student of Civil Law, may share his patent as Judge of the Admiralty in 
the Northern Counties, being an able and honest man. It is said that the 
offices of Chancellor and Commissary of the Archbishop of York are now 
for the Tynie disposed of, but they say they are settled in trust for Mr. 
Levett, as they lately were for Sir Tobie Mathew" [the Archbishop's son]. 
Before 1633 Thomas Levett had moved to Tixover, co. Rutland, a small 
hamlet in the smallest county of England. Here, on 21 May 1633, he 
sued Richard Bullingham of Ketton (Chancery Proceedings, Series 2, 
Bundle 408, No. 95). Bullingham was the grandson of Bishop Bulling- 
ham, and had sold the tithes of Ketton to Levett for twenty-one years, but 
had previously charged the premises with certain payments, unknown to 
Levett. In 1639-40 Thomas Levett was liigh sheriff of Rutlandshire. 
The State Papers (Domestic), Charles I, vol. 15, p. 465, contain the fol- 
lowing abstract of a letter from him to the Council, dated 17 Feb. 1639/40 : 

"Upon December 20 I received instructions for levying the ship money: 
and, on January 20, the Lords' second letter, requesting ine to pay by February 
20 such moneys as I should by that time have collected. I have'lain sick here 
in London since Martinmas (November 11) : Nevertheless I have by my agents 
been framing my assessment, and, I hope, by diligence, to bring in the whole 
money for my small county by April 1st." 

Thomas Levett of Tixover is said in all the printed pedigrees to have 
married a daughter of John Lindley of Leathley. It is certain that in 
1613 Margaret, the only daughter of this John Lindley, was married to 



10 

" Thomas Levit, Esq.," who is named as son-in-law and supervisor in John 
Lindley's will, dated 31 May 1613 and proved 30 June 1614. (York 
Wills, vol. 33, fo. 144.) If this were Thomas of Tixover, it was an early 
marriage, for he was but nineteen at the date of the will, and had taken 
his B.A. at Oxford only very i-ecently, on 8 Feb. 1612/18. But this mar- 
riage of 1613 would permit the birth of our Thomas Levet in 1616. In 
connection with Rutlandshire it is significant that this will of John Lindley 
mentions his "cousin Sir Guy Palmes," who represented Rutlandshire 
seven times in Parliament from 1614 to 1640. Arthur Lindley, the oldest 
son of John Lindley, married a daughter of Sir John Garrard, Lord Mayor 
of London. Two of her sisters married Lincolnshire men, one Sir John 
Reade of Wrangle, and the other Francis Hamby of Tathwell. It is 
curious to note that the granddaughter of this Arthur Lindley married the 
eon and heir of Robert Hitch, Dean of York, and thus a grandson of Capt, 
Christopher Levett, the exjjlorer. 

Hunter's Deanery of Doncaster states that Roger Dodsworth, the anti- 
quary, " was intimate with Levett of Tixover, who gare him a Chartulary 
of the Cluniacs of Pontefract." This was the Chartulary of St. John of 
Pontefract, published by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. On this 
volume, in Dodsworth's own hand, is the record that it came to him " ex 
dono Tomae Levett de High Melton, in anno 1 62-6-7." Probably Thomas 
Levett died at Tixover before 1655, for in Dugdale's Monasticon, of which 
the first edition was printed in 1 655, is an abstrtxct of a deed concerning 
Roche Abbey with this caption, " ex autographo jx^nes Thoniam Levet 
nuper de Tikesover in com. Rutland." The 2Ji^i"ish registers of Tixover 
were included with those of Ketton up to 1740. These have been 
searched, but no reference to Thomas Levett has been found. The regis- 
ters have suffered much from damp, and tlie ink is so faint that many 
pages could not be deciphered. 

John Levett, third son of Thomas Levett of Melton, was born about 
1605. He was admitted pensioner at Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1623. 
Peile's Register states that he had studied at Conisbrough and Haughton. 
He proceeded LL.D. in 1633 {per lit. reg.), and became a somewhat 
celebrated lawyer at York, but he seems always to have been financially 
embarrassed. In 1636 he married Mary, daughter and coheir of Em- 
manuel Mote, who owned the manor of Melton. Through this marriage 
John Levett acquired a considerable estate, including the manors of Melton 
and Bentley, cliavged with payments to the sisters of his wife. A collection 
of abstracts of deeds in Topographer and Genealogist, vol. 3, pp. 519-526^ 
shows that by 1637 John Levett had sold Bentley manor to Sir Arthur 
Ingram, who in turn sold it to Bryan Cooke of Doncaster. The manor 
of Melton was offered to Sir John Mellon in 1640, but as he failed to 
complete the purchase it went to Dr. Richard Berry, together with the 
Levett lands in Bentley and Cadeby, in satisfaction of large sums of money 
which Dr. Berry had lent to John and Thomas Levett. Hunter's Deanery 
of Doncaster (piotes many letters from Dr. Berry. In one of them, dated 
7 Dec. 1649, he says tliat a general release has been sealed between him 
and Levett; and in one dated 4 Mar. 1650 he says that Dr. Levett had 
promised to remove his wife and children out of INIelton Hall and to yield 
possession, with all the demesne lands. Dr. Berry was tlie son of Williani 
Berrie of Waleshy, co. Lincoln, and was B.A. of Lincoln College, Oxford, 
in 1 606, M.A. 16*09, and B.Med. 1614. He also obtained a diploma from 
Padua in 1620, and seems to have been a man of means, though John 
Levett says " he was behoulikn to Mr. Thomas Levett for the greater part 



11 

of his fortune." Dr. Berry married in 1637 Prudence, only daughter and 
heir of the unhappy Thomas Gargrave, and lived at Hodroyd, near Felkirk, 
wliere he acquired a large estate. His nephew, Major John Monkton, was 
the ancestor of the present Viscount Galway, and of General Robert 
Monckton, who was wounded with Wolfe at Quebec. 

On 9 July 1640 James Morley sued John and Thomas Levett for £2700, 
for his interest " in certain cole mines lying in Harraton and Riccleston, 
CO. Durham." Morley claimed that he had in 1639 sold his interest for 
£300 a year for 21 years to Thomas Lewis of York and Thomas Levett 
of Tixover, and that they had " acknowledged a statute staple of £5000 
in consideration thereof ; " that in June 1639 Thomas and John Levett 
had agreed to purchase this £300 a year for £2700, but that Sir John 
Melton, John Levett, and Thomas Levett combined to deprive Morley of 
his money. (Chancery Proceedings, Charles I, Bundle M. 46, No. 18.) 
This matter of the ILarraton collieries came before Cromwell's Committee 
for Compounding in 1651-2, and on pp. 2127-9 of the Calendar appears 
the petition of Thomas Wray el al. and the answer of John Levett and 
Josiah Primate. On 21 Jan. 1652/3 "John Levett, D.C.L., of York" 
begs an allowance for attending on the Committee. 

Both John and Thomas Levett were probably Royalists, and they appear 
on the Calendars of the Committee for Advancing Money (pages 769 and 
1142). In each case, heard in 1649-50, both brothers were cited to 
appear, but neither appeared, and the resulting fine was ordered to be 
levied by distress on John Levett's estate. 

Ralph Levett, second son of Thomas Levett of Melton, was baptized 
at Melton 3 Jan. 1600. Following his father's wish, he matriculated at 
Christ's College, Cambridge, as a pensioner, in July 1617. This was the 
college of John Milton, and John Wilson of the First Church in Boston 
took his degree there, as did Ezekiel Rogers, the founder of Rowley, Mass., 
and Thomas Jenner of Roxbury, Weymouth, and Saco. Ralph Levett 
took his B.A. in 1620/1, and proceeded M.A. in 1624, in which latter 
year he was ordained a deacon at York. Perhaps he had a curacy in 
Yorkshire, but he was soon associated with Lincolnshire. It may be that 
he knew Wheelwright at Cambridge, for they were there at the same time, 
though Wheelwright took his M.A. at Sidney Sussex College in 1618, one 
year after Ralph Levett was matriculated at Christ's College. 

On 25 Jan. 1631/2, as shown above, "Mr. Ralfe Levit and Anne 
Hutchinson " were married at Bilsby.* She was a daughter of Edward 
Hutchinson of Alford and therefore a sister of the second wife of John 
Wheelwright. Perhaps Wheelwright himself performed the ceremony. 
In 1633-34 " Radulphus Levet, rector," signs the transcripts of (^rainsby, 
Lincolnshire. On 3 Apr. 1 635, when the former rector, Thomas Hum- 
phrey, was buried, " Ralph Levitt, M.A.," was presented to the rectory of 
Gramsby by Frances, widow of Sir William Wrayf. (Lincoln Presentation 

* Canon Foster has found in the Bilsby transcripts some new data about John 
"Wheelwright. On 22 May 1628 his daughter Susanna was baptized ; she it was who 
married Edward Rishworth. On 18 May 1629, the day after the date of the Wheel- 
wright deed, John Wheelwright's first wife, Mary Storre, was buried. Canon Foster 
has also found in the transcripts of Hogsthorpe,6 July 1620, the marriage of Robert 
Towle and Elizabeth Lawson, and in those of Willoughby, 24 June 1624, the nuiiriage 
of Georgius Dearebarne and Helena Robinson. 

t These Wrays of Glentworth were a notable Puritan family of Lincolnshire, 
originating in Yorkshire and connected with the Wentworths arid with the Melton 
Levetts. The father of Sir William was Queen Elizabeth's Lord Chief Justice, Sir 
Christopher Wray, who married a daughter of Nicholas Girlington. The Girlingtons 
were lords of the manor of Mumby, and of them John Wheelwright held land in 
Mumby. Frances Wray, a granddaughter of Siv William, married in 1640 the famous 
Sir Harry Vane, a lifelong friend of Wheelwright. 



12 

Deeds, 1635, p. 25.) The Grainshy transcripts for 1636-37 are missing. 
That of 1638 is signed " Radulphus Levet" and that of 1639 " Raph 
Levet." The transcripts for 1640-48 are missing. In 1649 the signa- 
ture is " R. Levet, rector." The years 1650-63 are missing, and the year 
1664 is signed by William Jackson. The transcripts show that on 6 July 
1638 Thomas Levet was buried, and on 11 Dec. 1638 "Thomas Levet, 
son of Raph Levet and Ann his wife," was baptized. No record has been 
found of this Ralph Levet after 1649. He was the father of Francis Levet 
of Little Carlton, for whose marriage and children see p. 6 above. 

Wheelwright w^as dismissed from his Bilsby vicarage in January 1632, 
and in 1636, with a party of relatives and friends, sailed for New England. 
What more natural than that Ralph Levett should entrust to his brother- 
in-law Wheelwright a near relative, perhaps his only nephew? John 
Levett's answer to the bill in Chancery shows that he and his brother 
Thomas had borrowed £3000 from Dr. Berry on the Melton estates. 
Evidently the family inheritance was beginning to go under the hammer 
before 1 640, in which year Sir John Melton and Sir Arthur Ingram died. 

If then we assume that Ralph Levett of Grainsby did entrust a near 
relative to his brother-in-law Wheelwright for the New England venture, 
what was the exact degree of relationship ? Let us analyze the family of 
Ralph. His only brothers and sister were : 

A. Thomas Levett, the oldest son and heir, baptized at Melton 28 July 

1594. ( Vide stipra.) My theory is that our Thomas Levet 
was his son, born in 1616. 

B. John, born about 1605 (vide supra) ; living in 1665; too young to 

have been the father of our Thomas Levet. 

C. Peter, born 1610-11. In Peile's Register we find that as the son 

of Thomas Levett of Melton he was admitted pensioner at 
Christ's College, Cambridge, 27 Jan. 1628/9. He had attended 
the Rotherham School under Mr. Thomas Bonner. He pro- 
ceeded B.A. 1632/3, IM.A. 1636, and became vicar of Cantley, 
near Doncaster, where he died in 1672. Perhaps in 1666 he 
was vicar of Boynton, co. York. He was too young to have 
been the father of our Thomas Levet. 

D. Jane, born 1607 ; married in 1627 Andrew Goodhand of Kirmond 

in Lincolnshire, near Grainsby. His great-uncle Nicholas mar- 
ried Judith Harneis, the sister of Thomas, who married Esther 
Hutchinson. Jane Goodhand died in 1632, and is buried at 
Melton. 

In the next preceding generation of Melton Levetts we find that Thomas 
Levett, the father of Ralph, had only the following brothers and sisters : 

A. William Levett of Bentley, Yorkshire, born 1574; married Eliza- 
beth Vickars or Wray (widow probably of Thomas Sheppard), who 
died 1 635, leaving a will which mentions daughter Dorothy Shep- 
pard, grandchild Thomas Sheppard, and nephew William Vickars. 
William Levett himself died 1638. His will is not extant, but 
his in(iuisition jiost mortem gives as his next heir his nephew 
Thomas Levett of Tixover, and says that William Levett made 
his will 14 May 1638; in it he left his lands to " my cozen 
Thomas Levet son of my brother Robert Levet." A]>parently 
he had no children and did not wish his lauds to go to his spend- 
thrift nephew of Tixover. 



13 

B. Robert Levett of Normanton, born 1576 ; married in 1605 Frances, 

daughter of John Nalson of Snydale, a hamlet of Normanton. 
His children are thus recorded on the Normanton register : 

i. I5L4THEEINE, daughter of Kobert Levett of Snydale, bapt. 30 June 

1607; d. 12 May 1610. 
ii. Thomas, son of Leavett of Snydale, bapt. 3 Sept. 1609. 
ill. Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Levett of Snydall, bapt. 21 July 1611. 
iv. John, sou of Robert Levett of Suydall, bapt. 21 Sept. 1613. 
V. Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Levett of Normanton, bapt. 9 Oct. 

1617; bur. 3 Apr. 1625. 
vi. Thomas, son of Robert Levett of Normanton, bapt. 1 May 1619. 

He is said in Mr. Gibsou-CuUum's Levett pedigree to have married 

Joanna, daughter of John Jaques of Epworth, co. Lincoln, and to 

have been the progenitor of the Normanton Levetts and Hausons. 
vii. Marie, daughter of Robert Levett of Normanton, bapt. 3 July 1621. 
yiii. Robert, sou of Robert Levett of Normanton, bapt. 7 Nov. 1622 ; 

bur. 19 Mar. 1625. 
ix. Ralph, son of Robert Levett of Normanton, bapt. 28 Aug. 1625 ; bur. 

14 Oct. 1625. 
X. Agnes, daugliter of Robert Levett of Normanton, bapt. 15 April 1627 ; 

bur. 29 July 1627. 
xi. Jane, daughter of Robert Levett of Normanton, bur. 20 May 1627. 

Robert Levett himself was buried at Normanton 26 Jan. 1655/6. 
No will is extant. According to the records shown above he 
had two sons named Thomas, of whom one was born in 1609, and 
the other in 1619. If, as was sometimes the case, he had two 
surviving sons named Thomas, it is possible that one of them 
was our Thomas Levet ; but his brother William, in his will re- 
ferred to above, leaves his land to Thomas, " son of my brother 
Robert Levett of Normanton"; therefore in 1638 Robert had 
apparently but one son Thomas. 

C. Catherine Levett, born 1578 ; married William Strelley of Strelley. 
Apparently in this generation there are no ijossibilities for our Thomas 

Levet, unless we assume that Robert had two surviving sons named 
Thomas, and that one of them was our ancestor — a rather violent assump- 
tion. The children of this generation would be cousins of Ralph Levett 
of Grainsby. 

Going back one generation, we find that Ralph Levett of Melton, the 
grandfather of Ralph of Grainsby, had no brothers and but two sisters, 
Anne and Jane. There are no possibilities here, and the relationship is 
moved one degree farther off. 

AVilliam Levett of Normanton and Melton, the great-great-grandfather 
of Ralph of Grainsby, married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of William 
Wentworth of Sprotborough. No will is extant. His administration is 
on file at York. The son and heii', Nicholas Levett, born in 1524, sur- 
vived his own son Ralph and died in 1598. We jfind no record of brothers 
or sisters. 

Thus in five generations of the Melton Levetts there is apparently but 
one possibility for our Thomas Levet, namely : he may have been a son 
of Thomas of Tixover and a nephew of Ralph of Grainsby, the brother-in- 
law of John AVheelwright. The dates for such a theory harmonize so well, 
and the probability of a Wheelwright and Wentworth connection is so 
strong, that until proof to the contrary is shown I feel convinced that this 
is our line. Could the wills of any of the four sons of Thomas Levett of 



14 

Melton be found, this theory might be confirmed or upset. But in spite 
of a careful search at both principal and diocesan registries, no probate 
proceedings for any of the four sons have been discovered. Prol)ably 
Thomas and Ralph Levett died during the confused Commonwealth period, 
from 1G50 to 1660. But John Levett was living in 1665, and Peter Levett, 
•we know, died in 1672. 

In the exhaustive search for Levetts in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire I 
desire to thank my friend Canon C. W. Foster, editor of the Lincoln Rec- 
ord Society. Canon Foster's suggestions have been most helpful, and have 
resulted in tracing the Melton Levetts into Lincolnshire. With his aid a 
thorough search has now been made of Lincoln Subsidy Rolls, Wills and 
Administrations, Institutions and Presentation Deeds, etc. 

Among other early Levetts in New England the explorer, Capt. Chris- 
topher Levett, whose life has been so ably written by Hon. James Phinney 
Baxter for the Gorges Society, comes first. He bore the same arms as the 
Melton Levetts, and the Visitation of Dorset in 1623 gives his pedigree 
(2 Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, vol. 2, p. 354). There may have 
been a connection between the families, but Christopher was descended 
not from the Melton Levetts, but from another line, the Levetts of Bolton 
Percy. 

The pedigree in the Visitation of Dorset began with " Levett of 

Harbord, co. York," who had three sons, Richard, William, and Percival. 
This undoubtedly means Harewood, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. 
William Levett of Harewood died in 1569. A Chancery proceeding was 
begun by his oldest son Matthew in 1570 (Levett v. Levett, Series 2, 
Bundle 116, No. 40). It recites that by his second wife William Levett 
of Harewood left four sons, Richard, William, Percival, and Charles. 
These are undoubtedly the sons of " Levett of Harbord," and Per- 
cival was the godson and cousin of Francis Levet of Bolton Percy, men- 
tioned in his will of 1614/15. William of Harewood was probably* the 
son William mentioned in the wall of his father Richard of Bolton Percy 
in 1567. This establishes the following pedigree: 

1. John Levett of Bolton Percy, whose will was proved 1526 (York 
Wills, vol. 9, fo. 364), married Agnes . 

Children : 
i. William; his will of 1546 mentions sons Guy, Francis^ John. 
ii. John, a clerk; under 23 in 1526; admou. in 1575. 

iii. KOHKKT. 

2. iv, RicnAKD, executor of his father's will, 
v. ISAiiKL, m. Kendall. 

vi. Alison, in. Pickering. 

2. RiCHAUD Levit, of Appleton in Bolton Percy, whose will was proved 

1567 (York Wills, vol. 17, fo. 759), married first Ellen ; 

and secondly Constance . 

Children by first wife : 

i. Hknhy, of Appleton; will proved 1597. 
3. ii. William. 
iii. Katiierine. 

*Tlicro was also u branch of the Levetts at Holme and Lund in the East Riding, in 
which Matthew and VVilliani were family names. It maj^ be that William of Harer 
wood came from this line, l)ut their wills do not indicate this, and the mention of a 
godson Percival Levet in the will of Francis Levct seems to connect the line of Chrisr 
topher with the Bolton Percy family. 



15 

iv. Isabel. 

V. Robert. ,-; : * >f CTO^r-*^*^ 

VI. James. - XO«J /O/O / 
vii. Ellen. 

Children by second wife : 

viii. Thomas. 
ix. Makgaret. 

8. William Levett, of Harewood, married first Anne — ; and 

secondly Joan Ynglande. Admon. 6 July 1569 (Dean and 
Chapter Vacancy Act Book, 1568-70, fo. 165). 

Children by first wife : 
i. Matthew. 

ii. Elizabeth, m. William Nawte. 
iii. AxNE, m. John Wakdman. 
iv. Katherixe, m. Otho Wardman. 

Children by second wife : 
V. Richard, Mayor of Doncaster. His will of 1618 mentions only one 
son, William, Aldei'mau of Doncaster, whose will of 1643 men- 
tions two sons, Robert and John, and four daughters. 
vi. William, twin brother to Richard, of whom there is no further 
record. 
4. vii. Percival, b. 1560. 

viii. Charles, probably of Scrayingham, m. Gracb Ampleforth. 
ix. Joan, m. Thomas Usher. 

4. Percival Levett, born 1560, was freeman of York 1581, inn- 

keeper, and sheriff of the City of York 1597. He was buried at 
St. Martin's, Micklegate, 13 Feb. 1625. He married Elizabeth 
Rotherforth, daughter and heiress of Alexander. 

Children : 
i. Mary, bapt. 1581 ; m. John Smith of Cottingham. 
ii. Rudderforth, bapt. 1582 ; d. loS-l. 
iii. Grace, bapt. 1584 ; m. William Todd of York. 
6. iv. Christopher, b. 5 Apr. 1586. 

V. Percival, merchant of York ; had nine children, but no child named 

Thomas, 
vi. Anne, m. (1) 1623 Christopher Topham of York, perhaps uncle 
of the Toppaus of Newbury; m. (2) 1627 Joseph Micklethwaite 
of Swyne, great-grandfather of Viscount Micklethwaite. 

5. Capt. Christopher Levett, born 5 Apr. 1586. He is the well- 

known explorer who sailed to New England in 1 623, and again in 
1630, in the Porcupine, and died at sea in 1631. He married first 
Mercy More, daughter of Robert, rector of Guisley, York; and 
secondly Frances Lottisham, daughter of Oliver, of co. SomerseL 

Children by first wife : 
i. Sarah, b. 1610; m. Robert Hitch, rector of Normanton and dean 

of York, 
ii. Rebecca, b. 1612 ; d. young. 

iii. Mary, b- 1613; d. unm. 1644. Her will, proved 1644/5, meutions 
aU her kindred (York Wills) . 

iv. Jeremiah, b. 1614; rector of Leyton in Essex; m. Edith ; 

d. 1650. 

Children by second wife : 
V. Timothy, b. 1617 ; of West Lydford in co. Somerset. Will dated 

1650, proved 1669, mentions wife Florence, children Mary and 

Joan. 
vi. Elizabeth, b. 1619; d. unm. 



16 

Thus the line of Christopher Levett contained no near relative named 
Thomas. It may be that our Thomas Levet was a distant connection, but 
this is unlikely. 

New information concerning Christopher Levett's last voyage to New 
England is contained in a Chancery proceeding begun in 1631 by his 
widow against Thomas Wright and Robert Gough of Bristol, owners of 
the sliip Porcupine. The proceedings give in detail the sailing agreement 
and mention the grant of 6000 acres to Levett. 

Concerning John Leavitt of Hingham, Mass , Mr. Sheldon Leavitt, Jr., 
writes that the earliest known record appears in Dorchester, Mass., where 
in 1634 land was granted to him by the town. In 1636 he was made a 
freeman of Hingham, where first a house-lot and in the course of time 
much other land was granted to him. His first wife (jDOSsibly, according 
to Pope, the Mary Lovitt of the Dorchester Church) died at Hingham 
4 July 1646, and he married for his second wife, 16 Dec. 1646, Sarah, 
daughter of Edward Oilman, then of Hingham, Mass., and later of P^xeter, 
N. H. For many years he was a deacon of the church at Hingham and 
a selectman of the town, which he represented for several sessions in the 
General Court. He died in 1691, leaving a will, filed in Boston, in which 
he calls himself " a tayler," and si^ells his name as above. Some of his 
qhildren moved to Exeter, and became the ancestors of a distinguished 
family of Leavitts there, among whom was Dudley Leavitt, the compiler 
of an excellent Farmer's Almanac. I can find no reason for believing 
that any connection existed between these Leavitts and our Thomas Levet. 
Perhaps John Leavitt came from the Essex Levitts, for whom see the 
next paragraph. 

The afiidavit of Nathaniel and Abraham Drake {vide supra) has led 
some to believe that our Thomas Levet, like his wife Isabel Bland, came 
from CO. Essex. In Essex there were several families of Levitts, one of 
which, the Levitts of Messing, had some connection with New England 
through the Vvhites. (Registeu, vol. 55, pp. 22 etseq.) It may be that 
John Leavitt of Dorchester and Hingham came from one of these Essex 
lines, but a careful search of Essex wills reveals no Thomas Levet who 
could be our Exeter settler. Thomas Levit of Tarling died in 1631/2, 
leaving a son and grandson, both named Richard. William Levit of Mes- 
sing died in 1 626, leaving a wife Rlargaret and sons William, John, 
Richard, and Isaac. Henry Levitt of Walden died in 1635, leaving a wife 
Lydia and daughter Blary and other children unnamed. Robert Levett 
of Feering died in 1648, leaving brothers Williau^ and Thomas and sister 
Grissell, who had married Ralph Wharton. At Purleigh lived a John 
Levitt, who died in 1633, leaving a brother Thomas, a sister Susan, who 
married Daniel Goodwin, and a sister Mary, who married William Pond. 
(Rkgistkr, vol. 54, p. 348). This Thomas Levit died at Purleigh in 
1611, leaving a wife Mary but no children. His goods were bequeathed 
to his sisters, Susan Goodwin and Mary Pond. Robert LeA^itt of Stebbing 
died between 1638 and 1649, leaving a son Robert, a daughter Elizabeth, 
wlio married John Clemence, and daughters IClizabeth and ]*Jary, both 
unmarried. Elizabeth Levet of Theydon Gernou died in 1561, leaving a 
son Jolin and a daughter Margaret. John Lovet of Little Bromlej' died 
in 1561, leaving a wife Marget, sous John, Humphrey, Henry, and Chi-is- 
topher, and a daughter Mary. I'he wills of several other Levetts are filed 
from 1550 to 1660, but apparently they have no bearing on our problem. 



17 

Thus a systematic investigation of these three sets of clues gives no posi- 
tive proof of the ancestry of our Thomas Levet of Exeter and Hampton. 
The most probable line is that of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, connected 
with both Wheelwright and Wentworth. 

But if Levet were a protdg^ of John Wheelwright, he did not follow the 
Antinomian to Wells in 1642. The removal of their pastor scattered the 
Exeter settlers in that year, and in 1 G43 we find Thomas Levet at Hamp- 
ton, next neighbor to Exeter, where his name is signed to a petition against 
Lieut. William Howard. 

The list of grants and possessions in the old Hampton town records, made 
about 1644, in the beautiful handwriting of William Howard, the town clerk, 
shows that before that date Thomas Levet had married Isabel (Bland), 
widow of Francis Asten of Dedham and Hampton. The record follows : 

II. 58. House lots and other ground granted &c. unto the several inhabitants 

of Hampton, compiled Anno 1644. 
Thomas Levitt of Hampton. 

1. 5 a. of upland for a house lot grauted unto Fras. Asten the former husl^and 

of Thomas Levitt's wife, lying betw. upland of Saml. Getchell, some- 
times Will. Huutou's, before that John Philbrook's to the West, and tlie 
upland of Thomas Sleeper's sometimes Chr. Lasone's. 

2. 5 a. of upland gi-auted to Thomas Levitt. 

3. 10 a. upland in the North plan of upland. 

4. 6 a. meadow grauted to the above named Fras. Asten, former husband of 

Tho. Levitts wife, lying between the meadow & marsh of Timothy Daltou 
N.E., and Will : Howard S.W. 
6. 3 a. meadow bought of Anthony Taylor, betw. A. T. & Taylor's River. 

6. 6 a. salt Marsh grauted unto him, betw. Widow Husse N., & Will. Maa- 

tou S. 

7. 5 a. salt marsh bot. of Authouy Taylor. 
Additions to Anno 1658. 

8. 5 a. bought, granted to Edw. Palmer. 

9. Granted to Tho. Levitt 2^ a. swamp betw. swamp of Sam. Getchell & Timo- 

thy Dalton. 

10. 5 a. salt marsh gr. to John Sanders. 

11. 4 a. upland bot. of John Samborue. 

12. 11 a. salt marsh beyond Falls River. 

The Norfolk County record of the birth of James Levet in 1652 calls 
him " son of Thomas and Elisabeth Levitt," but this is a clerical error, 
repeated in Pope's Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire. We may 
safely assume that the only wife of our Thomas Levet was Isabel Bland, 
daughter of John Bland of Watertown and Martha's Vineyard. John 
Bland was a stepson of Jeremiah Norcross, and his mysterious alias of 
" John Smith " has been explained by Dr. Charles E. Banks, in his His- 
tory of Martha's Vineyard, vol. 2, pp. 41-46. It is possible that John 
Bland and the Hampton Drakes were of Yorkshire origin. 

The old pronunciation of the famil}' name was Lovitt. In spelling it 
our Thomas Levet seems to have used interchangeably " Levet," '' Levitt," 
and " Levit." These are the forms in which the name of Ralph Levett 
of Grainsby appears : " Levet" when he signed his name, " Levitt" when 
others wrote it. In the case of our Thomas Levet the uncertainty of 
Colonial orthography is increased by the fact that apparently he could not 
write, and always signed by a mark, so that his name was spelled and 
written by some one else. It is " Levitt " in the Exeter Combination, 
written by his relative Wheelwi'ight, and also in the i-ecord of a deed in 
1659, in the "Wheelwright Deed," the Hampton record of 1644, and the 
Drake deposition. In signatures of 1654 and 1657 and in the Martha's 



18 

Vineyard power of attorney it is " Levit." In the testimony in Drake v. 
Colcord, 1G76, and a jury verdict of 1680 it is " Levet," and so distinctly 
in the wills of both Thomas and Isabel. In the Hampton petition of 1643 
it was probably also "Levet"; a copy of this petition is in the Massa- 
chusetts Archives, and in it the scrivener has spelled the name " Livet." 

In 1647, when Wheelwright was called to the Hampton church, Thomas 
Levet was already there. He lived in Hampton until his death in 1696, 
a quiet, useful citizen, seldom prominent in town matters. He was perhaps 
a tanner, though the only deed from him in the old records describes him 
as a ''planter." He appears in 1654 with Robert Smith as an appraiser 
of the estate of George Haborne or Rabone, who was one of the Wheel- 
wright group and probably a Lincolnshire man. In 1657 Thomas Levet 
and Godfrey Dearborn witnessed the will of Susan, widow of George 
Haborne and then the wife of Thomas Leader of Boston. Dearborn, who 
followed Levet from Exeter to Hampton, was a Lincolnshire man. 
(Register, vol. 60, p. 308.) Levet's stepdaughter Isabel married Philip 
Towle,* who came to Hampton when Wheelwright was there. 

Thomas Levet served as selectman of Hampton in 1657 and 1667, and 
was constable in 1664. He served on several juries, and took the oath of 
allegiance to Massachusetts in 1678. He was "freed from Training" in 
1681, probably on account of age or disability. In 1683, wdth eighteen 
others, he signed a petition that their poll-tax be abated, because of old 
age, "many about seventy, some above eighty, others near ninety, being 
past labour and work." In 1685 he signed Weare's petition against Cran- 
field. The Dukes County records show a power of attorney dated 1 6 Apr. 
1691 from Thomas and Isabel Levet to their son John, authorizing him to 
deal with Isabel's share of the Bland estates in Martha's Vineyard. Ap- 
parently some dispute between John Levet and another coheir, Elias, son 
of Philip Watson, Avas settled by a division in 1699. John Levet's name 
in subsequent conveyances of the Vineyard land is spelled " Levit," " Lovet," 
and " Leavit." Thomas Levet died 28 Nov. 1696, "aged aboutf eighty," 
the town record says, and his will and inventory are on file at Concord, 
N. H. (Probate Records, vol. 2, p. 26, and vol. 3, p. 125.) An abstract 
of his will, dated 9 July 1692, is as follows : 

To loving wife the thirds of all lands and meddows, etc., with housing con- 
venient during her life. To wife two cows, two swine, three sheep, my brass 
and putcr, tlie tliirds of all my corn. To son Hezron Levet 100 acres at the new 
plantation, £20 formerly given him, and 5s. after my decease. To Hezron's son 
Tlionias Levet £10, to be paid him at the age of oiie and twenty. Kesidue of 
lands and housing to sons Aretas and John Levet equally, John to divide and 
Aretas to choose. To sou Aretas all in his house and half the wedges, half the 
cross cut saw, and half the tools about husbandry, with his house that he now 
lives in. To sou [John] Levet the other half the tools mentioned with all car- 

S enter tools and his house and ground. To son James Levet £10. To three 
aughters, Isabella Towle, Jemima Knowles, and Kezia Tucker, 5s. apiece. Ex- 
ecutors : wife and son John Levet. Witnesses : Abraham Drake, Seur., Abraham 
Drake, Jnnr., Robert Drake. 

Inventory, £210.1.0, includes all buildings, housing, barn, and house-lot con- 
taining 10 acres. 15 acres upland. 25 acres mead and marsh. 5 acres upland 
and swamp. 4 shares commonage. (JO acres in the North Division. 100 acres 
In New riantatiou. Appraised by Abr. Drake, Senr., and John Smith. 

* Towle was probably a Lincolnshire man, perhaps from Habrough. Many Towle 
wills are filed at Lincoln, bnt they throw no light on his ancestry. Several Towles 
arc still living in Lincolnshire. 

t The old record is torn here, so that it cannot be definitely stated whether it says 
"above" or "about." 



19 



Isabel Levet, widow, died 9 Feb. 1698/9, aged about 87, and her will 
and inventory are filed at Concord. (Probate Records, vol. 3, p. 165.) 
An abstract of her will is as follows : 

To daughter Isball Toule one cow, one box of liuen, and my wearmg clothes. 
To daughter Jemima Knowls one cow and one sheep. To grandchild Sarah 
Knowls one sheep. To daughter Keziah Tucker 12s. All my puter and brass 
to be equally divided among my three daughters. Residue to son John Levet, 
sole executor. Witnesses : John Smith, Senr. , and John Smith, Junr. 

Inventory taken by Thomas Roby and John Tucke, £76.11.9, including "an es- 
tate at Mathes Vineyard." 

The "three daughters," Isabel Towle, Jemima Knowles, and Kezia 
Tucker, were the three children of Isabel Bland by her first husband, 
Francis Asten. 

The children and grandchildren of Thomas Levet may be arranged in 
a pedigree as follows : 

1. Thomas^ Levet had 

2. i. Hezron,^ b. 1644. 

3. ii. Aretas, b. abt. 1646. 

4. iii. John, b. abt. 1648. 

5. iv. James, b. 10 Nov. 1652. 

2. Hezron^ Levet (TTiomas^), born in 1644, according to a deposition, 

resided at Hampton, and died there 30 Nov. 1712. He was a tan- 
ner and shoemaker. He married, 25 Sept. 1667, Martha Taylor, 
daughter of Anthony of Hampton. 

On 15 Feb. 1702/3 Hezron Levet and his son Thomas, who like 
his father was a tanner, made an agreement by which the son was 
to take over all his father's house, tanyards, and lands, and to main- 
tain his father and mother in comfort " beside what my father shall 
get by his practis and my mother by stilling." The son also agreed 
to make certain payments to his four sisters. Both father and son 
signed their names " Lewit " to this instrument. (N. H. Deeds, 
vol. 13, p. 237.) 

Children : 
i. Lydia,^ b. 5 Aug. 1668 ; m. Mephibosheth SAjreoRN. 
li. John, b. 26 Nov. 1670 ; m. Sarah Hobbs, daughter of John, 
iii. James, b. and d. 1673. 
iv. Moses, b. 30 Jan. 1673/4 ; m. Mary Carr. 

V. Thomas, b. 8 May 1677 ; m. Elizabeth Atkinson of Newbury, daugh- 
ter of John and granddaughter of Theodore Atkinson, 
vi. Mary, b. 20 Oct. 1679 ; m. Capt. Benjamin Thomas, son of James 

of Dover, 
vii. Abigail. 
viii. Sarah. 

8. Aretas^ Levet ( Thomas^), born about 1646, resided at Hampton, and 
died there 14 Jan. 1739. He married, 1 Aug. 1678, Ruth Sleeper, 
daughter of Thomas, an early settler of Hampton. He was a far- 
mer, and served in King William's war. No will or inventory of 
Aretas Levet has been found. On 25 Dec. 1710 he conveyed to 
his sons James and Thomas certain lands at Hampton. The estate 
of Thomas Levet, the father, was finally divided in 1725 by Sergt. 
John Levet and James, the son of Aretas. (N. H. Deeds, vol. 74, 
p. 154.) 

Children : 
i. Luther" (a daughter), b. 1679 ; d. 1684. 



20 

ii. Elizabeth, b. 1680; d. 1684. 

iii. Mehitabel, b. 8 June 1682 ; m. Robert Rowe of Hampton. 

iv. Jajies, b. 1683; m. (1) 20 Feb. 1717 Ann Brackett, daughter of 

Capt. Anthony; m. (2) Hannah . 

V. Thomas, b. 15 Jan. 1685/6; m. 24 Nov. 1714 Elizabeth Locke, 

daughter of Nathaniel of Hampton, 
vi. Elizabeth, b. 2 Aug. 1690 ; m. James Samborn, son of Nathaniel, 
vii. Ruth, b. 19 May 1693 ; m. Stephen Samborn, sou of Stephen. 

4. Sergeant John^ Levet {Thomas^), born about 1648, died 1726/7. 

He married Deliverance Robie, granddaughter of Henry Robie 
of Hamilton, of the family of Robie of Castle Doning-tou, Leices- 
tershire. He served in several campaigns against the Indians. His 
will, dated 2,3 Dec. 1726, is filed at Concord, N. H. (N. H. Wills, 
vol. 7, p. 638.), and leaves to wife Deliverance the improvement of 
his estate; to daughter Deliverance, at age of 18 or at marriage, 
one-half the estate ; if she has a male heir her share is to go to him ; 
if not, it is to go to .John Levet, son of " cousin " Thomas and 
grandson of Aretas. The estate, inventoried at £1029, included a 
halberd and some books. 

Child : 
i. Deliverance," b. G May 1719 ; m. Jeremiah Clough of Salisbury. 

5. James^ Levet (Thomas^), born 10 Nov. 1652, died at Portsmouth, 

N. H., 4 Apr. 1718, and is buried in the Point of Graves Cemetery 
there. He married about 1692 Sarah Partridge, widow of 
Nehemiah of Salisbury and Portsmouth, a brother of Governor 
William Partridge. Her maiden name does not appear, but slie was 
a kinswoman of Anthony Ellins, an early settler of Portsmouth, 
who in 1668 conveyed land at Portsmouth to Nehemiah Partridge 
and his wife Sarah, " my kinswoman." 

Little has been known of James Levet, perhaps because he left 
no children, but he was the richest of his family. In 1668, at the 
age of sixteen, he removed to Portsmouth, then the most aristo- 
cratic settlement in the new province. There he was the clerk of 
Henry Dering, a Portsmouth merchant, and before that a tavern- 
keeper at Hampton. Dering soon removed to Boston, but -James 
Levet remained at Portsmouth. His name was generally spelled 
*' Lovet," that being the usual pronunciation of the name. He 
was selectman of Portsmouth in 1696/7 and again in 1708, deputy 
sheriff in 1694, coroner in 1697, and constable in 1706. In 1705 
he was overseer of the will of Roger Rose. His will, dated 1 Apr. 
1718 (N. H. Wills, vol. 10, p. 5), leaves all his property to his 
wife Sarah, and is witnessed by Thomas Beck, Jr., Elizabeth Fur- 
ber, and Ann Barn. The widow Sarah Levet made her will 10 
Nov. 1733 (N. H. Wills, vol. 14, p. 421), leaving bequests to 
grandsons Nehemiah Partridge and William Partridge, to grand- 
daughters Sarah Mc Bride and Abigail Chapman, to great-grand- 
daughters Sarah Partridge and Abigail Partridge, to Sarah Braugh- 
ton, daughter of Alngail Chapman, to great-granddaughter Sarah 
Beck, to granddaughter Mary Beck, to Mary, wife of Nehemiah 
Partridge, and to Mary, wife of William Partridge. The residue 
slie left to Samuel Beck, who had married Mary Partridge. Her 
inventory is a long one and includes a silver tankard. 



21 

ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE LEVETTS OF ENGLAND 
Mr. Sheldon Leavitt, Jr., has had a search made at the College of Arms, the 
results of which he has allowed me to peruse. It appears that there are' five 
Levett families among English armorial families : (1) The Levetts of Norman- 
ton and Melton. (2) The family of Christopher Levett. (3) The Levetts of 
Staflordshire, descended from William Levett of Savernake, Wilts, through Sir 
Richard Levett, lord mayor of London in 1707. (4) The Levetts of Sussex. 
(5) The Levetts of Chester. 

Besides these armorial Levetts, and distinct from the lines traced in the fore- 
going article, I have the following notes on English Levetts : 
LEVETTS OF SUFFOLK 
Humphrey Levett, of Thelnetham, Suffolk, yeoman. His wife Bridget and 
Bon and heir John Levett sued 19 Nov. 1603 John Halman, son and heir of Robert 
Halman, late of Swaffham, Norfolk, (Chancery Proceedings, Charles I, Bundle 
Li 63, No. 7.) "' 

LEVETTS OF LEICESTER AND RUTLAND 
James Levytt of Melton Mowbray, co. Leicester, mercer, born at Whissen- 
dme CO. Rutland. Will dated 20 May 1597 and proved 5 Oct. 1599. Sous Rich- 
ard, Matthew, and Edward ; daughters Alice Ward and Helen Newball ; brother's 
son James Levytt. (Peterborough Probate Registry, Year 1600, No 59 ) His 
own sou Richard died in 1638. (Adm. Peterborough, 1638.) James Levett of 
Melton Mowbray, Gent., m 1628 sued John Pendock and obtained judgTOent on 
Peudock's lands in Tollerton, co. Notts. (Chancery Proceedings, Charles I, 
Isuudle L 48, No. 47.) 

James Levett, the younger, of Whissendine, co. Rutland, evidently a con- 
nection of the Levetts of Melton Mowbray, in 1646 sued his sister 4une wife 
of Stephen Clarke the younger, for money which he had buried in his parlor at 
Whitsuudme before he enlisted in the Parliameutary army in 1642. (Chancery 
Proceedings, Charles I, Levett v. Clerke, Bundle L 1, No. 12.) George Lyvett 
of Whissendine in his will of 14 Sept. 1619 mentions son James. 

Richard Levitt of Helpringhara, co. Lincoln. Will dated 28 Dec 1717 and 
proved at Lincoln 1717/18. Wife Anne ; daughters Mary, Anne, and Elizabeth; 
brother William Levitt of Whissendine, CO. Rutland. (Lhicoln Wills, 1717, fo 87 ) 
,.??°'"^^ -'"®'^'^" °^ Empiugham, co. Rutland, blacksmith. Will dated 19 Jan. 
leil and proved at Empingham 2 May 1672. Sons Charles, George, Robert. 
John, James, and William. (Lincoln Wills, Dean and Chapter, 1666-71, fo. 207.) 
LEVETTS OF NORTHAMPTON AND LINCOLN 
James Levitt of Stamford Baron, co. North't., blacksmith. Will dated 28 
July 1681 and proved 3 Oct. 1681. Son John ; son James (a minor) ; daui^hters 
Elizabetli, Mary, Dorothy, Penelope, Sarah; brother John Levitt ; fatlier-iu-law 
Edward Billmgton. (Consistory Court of Peterborough.) 

John Levitt of St. Martin's, Stamford Baron, co. Northton., gent. Will dated 
9 Oct. 1681 and proved 9 May 1682. Wife Mai-y ; sons John and Robert ; daugh- 
ter Frances ; land in Deeping Fen, co. Lincoln. (P. C. C, 59 Cottle.) 

John Levitt of Stamford, co. Lincoln. Will dated 2 June 1663 and proved at 
Lmcoln 17 Aug. 1663. Wife Jane ; sons John and James ; John and James, sons 
of brother Robert Levitt. (Lincoln Wills, 1663, fo. 431.) 

LEVETTS OF CAMBRIDGE 
, Ji'*^^^.?''^^* ^^ Newton in the Isle of Ely, yeoman. Will dated 14 Feb. 
1613. Wife Temperance; son John (a minor) ; daughter Anne. (P. C. C, 76 

o I^'^^^'^n^.o ^^'^^?5 Caxton, CO. Cambridge. Will dated 12 Dec. 1649 and proved 
2 May 1650. Wife Rose; son Jolm; daughter Mary; daughter Anne Cole. 
(Archdeaconry of Ely, Book 9.) j ^ b 

Robert Levit of Hoddenham, co. Cambridge, gent. Will 20 Oct. 1670 Wife 
Katheriue ; son William ; daughter Anne Jeuison, widow ; daughter Alice Levit ; 
land m Hoddenham and Witcham. (Archdeaconry of Ely, book 10, fo. 133.) 
LEVETTS OF MIDDLESEX 

John Levett of Whltechapel, co Middx., tallow chandler, exr. of will of Chris- 
topher Swayne of Yorkshire. (Chancery Proceedings, Charles I, Swayne v. 
Levett, Bundle S 12, No. 50.) In 1643 Sarah Levett, widow of John Levett, Jr., 
late a City captain in the Parliament's service and slain at Newbury, sued her 
father-ui-law, John Levett, Sr., who replied that his son John had married Sarah 
without his father's knowledge, but in spite of this the father had lent him large 
sums and had taken hun into his own business as a taUow chancUer 



15 



9